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Richards' presence fueling Kings' run

Updated: May 1, 2012, 11:33 AM ET
By Craig Custance

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Richards entered the cramped visitors dressing room at Scottrade Center following the Los Angeles Kings' 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 2, and an announcement was made for the waiting media.

Richards was available to talk.

"You don't have to come," he said, looking up as a crowd gathered around him. "It's optional."

Maybe he was joking, but you can't help but suspect he'd be more than happy to bypass this part of the job requirement. He's settling in just fine as one of the quiet leaders of the Kings, but the more they start to win, the bigger story he becomes. It's inevitable. Especially if the Flyers keep winning and a potential Stanley Cup finals between Richards' former team and current team grows into a realistic possibility.

Philadelphia's first-round dominance over the Penguins established them as legitimate Eastern Conference contenders. The Kings are now up 2-0 over the Blues and have given no indication they shouldn't be taken seriously as a team that could go all the way.

So of course, it has to be asked. Does Richards want a chance to play the Flyers? Or maybe, does part of him want to outlast the team he once captained?

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